Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'

The original Somerset and Dorset Railway closed very controversially in 1966. It is time that decision, made in a very different world, was reversed. We now have many councillors, MPs, businesses and individuals living along the line supporting us. Even the Ministry of Transport supports our general aim. The New S&D was formed in 2009 with the aim of rebuilding as much of the route as possible, at the very least the main line from Bath (Britain's only World Heritage City) to Bournemouth (our premier seaside resort); as well as the branches to Wells, Glastonbury and Wimborne. We will achieve this through a mix of lobbying, trackbed purchase and restoration of sections of the route as they become economically viable. With Climate Change, road congestion, capacity constraints on the railways and now Peak Oil firmly on the agenda we are pushing against an open door. We already own Midford just south of Bath, and are restoring Spetisbury under license from DCC, but this is just the start. There are other established groups restoring stations and line at Midsomer Norton and Shillingstone, and the fabulous narrow gauge line near Templevcombe, the Gartell Railway.

There are now FIVE sites being actively restored on the S&D and this blog will follow what goes on at all of them!
Midford - Midsomer Norton - Gartell - Shillingstone - Spetisbury

Our Aim:

Our aim is to use a mix of lobbying, strategic track-bed purchase, fundraising and encouragement and support of groups already preserving sections of the route, as well as working with local and national government, local people, countryside groups and railway enthusiasts (of all types!) To restore sections of the route as they become viable.
Whilst the New S&D will primarily be a modern passenger and freight railway offering state of the art trains and services, we will also restore the infrastructure to the highest standards and encourage steam working and steam specials over all sections of the route, as well as work very closely with existing heritage lines established on the route.

This blog contains my personal views. Anything said here does not necessarily represent the aims or views of any of the groups currently restoring, preserving or operating trains over the Somerset and Dorset Railway!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Just arrived is the latest edition of the superb S&D Telegraph from the Trust at Midsomer Norton. This gets better with every issue, the wrap around front cover is brilliant and makes me want to throttle Julian next time I see him! I'm even starting to get into the historical operations material!

This reminds me that the New S&D need an EDITOR for its magazine, Right Lines. Please email if you'd like to take this role on. You'll get loads of financial and physical support (articles, pics etc) and you'll be playing a valuable role in promoting the S&D.
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John said...

Would be interesting to know what exactly are the future plans for Midsomer Norton.

Sunshiner said...

There's a fair amount of forward plans covered in the current (and previous) Telegraphs. I think they are going to revise their ten year planning document soon as some of the dates haven't been reached, but they are pretty much committed to returning to Chilcompton in the medium term and of course Radstock in the longer term, with a network connection to Frome.

Hopefully by then there are clear developments on the Bath to Radstock section under the New S&D.

Most of the development work at the station is now complete - in the short/medium term there is a plan to build a couple of sidings just south of the station with some covered accomodation, but the station area itself is just about finished apart from a few minor touches - and hopefully replacement of the toilet extension on the station building with something more authentic.

But just look what they've achieved over the last few years with a fairly small team of hardcore volunteers!